Future Cops
UNIVERSE
 
Starring:
Directed By:
Wong Jing
Year:
1993
Run Time:
95mins
Producer: Universe
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Languages:
CANTONESE 5.1, Mandarin 5.1
Subtitles:
Chinese (T&S), English
W/S Subtitles:
Yes
Ratio:
1.85:1 Non Anamorphic
Region:
NTSC 0
Genre:
Comedy / Spoof / Manga-In-Motion - II
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MOVIE
2/10

Yes, I'm sure I did...I must have...no, maybe I didn't...I got close - was it a smirk or a grimace?
Nope, I didn't laugh once whilst watching this painfully unfunny excuse for a film.

Taking the most popular characters from Capcom's Streetfighter II series, and placing them into a Hong Kong movie seemed like such a good idea on paper, and was the main reason I picked this Universe title up. I've been playing the Streetfighter games since the age of eight, so had high hopes and expectations for a film which incorporated some of my favourite characters.
Added to this a cast of well-known actors including Aaron Kwok, Andy Lau, Simon Yam and Jacky Cheung, and my excitement at the prospect of the final product was high.
Unfortunately, having been stamped with Wong Jing's well used "Seal of Crapness", this hideously unfunny mishmash of Hong Kong "comedy" and Streetfighter-esque action is possibly the most mind-numbing hour and a half I've spent in front of a TV...

Although not billed as a comedy, Wong Jing's cheap and uncheerful rip-off of the aforementioned game contains virtually no scenes of actual combat - probably 95% "humour", 5% action.

Played by Dicky Cheung, the irritating main character (a pathetic high school student) is modelled on the type of role Chow Sing-Chi has made his forte - the "down on his luck", unpopular underdog who comes good in the end.
However, Cheung's attempts to replicate Chow's deadpan delivery and likeable personality is the cheapest of imitations and fails miserably, managing to ruin every scene he appears in.I'm still uncertain as to who I disliked more - the actor or his character.

Jacky Cheung, Simon Yam, and Andy Lau are all fine actors on their day, but having been handed some of the direst lines I've heard in a long while, fail to look anything other than amateurish.

Even more depressing are the fight sequences. In fact, calling them "fight scenes" is probably giving them more credit than they deserve.
Directed by the usually dependable Ching Siu-Tung these hyper undercranked, messily choreographed scenes are very short, and dull in the extreme. Although Ching tries to recapture the game's style and moves, the sloppy wire-work and unimaginative movements are not even worthy of comparison to Capcom's classic title.
Wong Jing and Ching Siu-Tung have no excuse for delivering such utterly dreadful action, which fails to either duplicate or parody the source material on which it's based.

Finally, being typically lazy, Wong didn't bother to acquire a full license from Capcom, so all of the character's names had to be changed - with the exception of Chun Li.

Please note that these are the UK version's character names:

Tiu Man (Andy Lau) = Vega
Kent (Ekin Cheng) = Ken
General (Ken Lo) = M. Bison
Thai King (Billy Chow) = Sagat
Chun Li (Chingamy Yau) = Chun Li
Broom Head/Man (Jacky Cheung) = Guile
Lung (Aaron Kwok) = Ryu
Sing (Simon Yam) = Dhalsim
Green Wolf (Richard Ng) = Blanka
Ng Kwun Yu (Dicky Cheung) = Dragon Ball Z *Not a Streefighter character*
Toyota (Yuen King-Tan) = E.Honda

PICTURE
7/10

Made in 1993, the print consistently shows marks, lines and scratches, with the opening scenes looking particularly rough. I didn't, however, find them particularly distracting.
Colours occasionally appear slightly muted, but generally they're strong and reasonably well contained.
Varying from good to very good, the level of detail throughout is quite pleasing, with artifacting kept to a minimum.
Not having the original Universe disc, I can't compare, but all in all this is a very good transfer.

SOUND
7/10

Quite surprisingly, this 5.1 mix contains some effective use of the surrounds. The majority of the track is relayed through the centre channel, although the front left and right speakers get a few well-placed effects.
A disappointing element of this otherwise solid remix is that in certain scenes, loud noises (such as explosions) sound slightly muffled, and lack crispness.

SUBTITLES
7/10

Of a higher standard than is usually found in your average Hong Kong title, these removable subs still contain numerous grammatical errors.
The translations never become so incoherent that you're left wondering what's going on, and they unfortunately allow you to understand every "joke".
To be honest, there is so little dialogue of any substance, with the bulk of the movie being based on physical humour, that you could pretty much ignore the subs for the most part.

MENUS
6/10

Some bright, clear pictures surround the otherwise bog-standard Universe selection buttons, and by and large are well-composed.
I did feel though that Universe could have been more creative with their menu design, especially considering the endless possibilities provided for them by the video game.

EXTRAS
2/10

Only one word is needed to describe the extras - pathetic. All you get is the theatrical trailer, 8 Chapter-Stops (hardly an "extra"), and 3 Star Files!
Aaron Kwok, Jacky Cheung and Simon Yam are the only players to get Star Files - which is mystifying considering the number of well-known actors who took part.

As you can probably tell (?), I'm not a great fan of this movie, or Wong Jing for that matter.
Apart from a handful of high points, Jing's career is littered with dreadful films which he either wrote, directed, starred in or produced.
To not have included a filmography for this "talent" was probably Universe's most commendable decision.

CONCLUSION
4/10

Let me put this as simply as possible - there is more inventiveness, genuine comedy, action and overall faithfulness to the subject matter in Jackie Chan's 2 minute City Hunter Streetfighter 2 parody, than in the entire length of this film.
The only aspect which brought a smile to my face was the sight of
Richard Ng dressed as Blanka and Chingamy Yau as Chun Li - even this guilty pleasure was wiped away in matter of seconds by yet another unfunny sequence.

Universe's remastered disc is very good technically, but it seems a shame that they spent so much time and money polishing a piece of rubbish.

MOVIE 2/10
PICTURE
7/10
SOUND
7/10
SUBTITLES
7/10
EXTRAS
2/10
MENUS
6/10
PACKAGING
5/10
OVERALL 4/10